Naropa’s Graduate Psychology Department Has “Invisible lines and expectations you absolutely will cross”

Naropa

Naropa (Photo credit: flowercat)

Currently, I am sitting on a developing story of widespread psychological abuse in the graduate psychology department at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, but today, I was given the green light to share this quip from the Naropa survivor:

The grad psychology school is a whole different shabang…. total mindfuck, and catch22… with invisible lines and expectations you absolutely will cross, and any questions for more information, trying to explain yourself or heaven forbid, correcting them, is met with anger and threat of dismissal.

This is a truly disturbing account, and it is only the tip of the iceberg with this poor man’s involvement. It should give you pause to enter the graduate psychology programs at Naropa University. I will stay on the story and I hope to get you the story as soon as possible, but I have an obligation of confidentiality to those who share their stories with me and I respect that obligation totally.

Trungpa’s Influence Still Remains: On a Lama Getting Handsy

Recently, I received an e-mail from someone who is preparing to leave Naropa, and she shared this tidbit with me.

The monk harassment… was Lama Tenpa… he touched and came onto a student friend of mine, and then really really came on to me hard in a disgusting way. Since we’re both rather assertive women, we thought – who ELSE is he doing this to? we reported it to Student Affairs….. and you know what happened? He was sat down for a chat, then wrote us letters, that we could pick up in the student affairs office [re-contacting the victim, anyone?!] The letter said that he now understands naropa and american university policy…..he’s still teaching to this day.

Don’t you just love it? Apparently, Lama Grabby is still teaching at Naropa University, despite the fact that the school knows about him getting a bit too hands on with students and him admitting it, claiming that he now understands Naropa policy, which apparently forgives sexual assault. After all, when you remember that Naropa was founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a man who knew no boundaries with his followers. After all, when your founder forcibly strips two people at a “seminary party” and marries one of his followers before leaving the monastic order when she was fifteen (he was twenty-nine). Let me make it clear, one of their own publications proudly prints the fact that Chogyam Trungpa was a pædophile who abused his position as a religious leader (though, they don’t use that terminology).

So, who wants to get in on my pool on when the sycophantic alumni are going to start denying that there is anything wrong with Naropa?

Naropa University and Environmental Studies

One thing I have been thinking about in recent months is the Environmental Studies program at Naropa University. In case you are wondering what doing this degree will entail, here is what Naropa University’s catalog has to say about the subject:

Core Courses

SUBTOTAL 30

Choose one field science course:

Choose one focus course:

TOTAL CREDITS 36

So, what’s the problem with the program? Here it is: very little of it actually trains you to be competent in the field of Environmental Studies. Most of it is philosophy and, at best, soft social sciences and no hard sciences are required.

True, there are philosophical and justice issues at play when talking about the environment. The thing is though, if you want to be influential in anything, you have to know what you are talking about and this is one of the weaknesses that Naropa University graduates seem to have. Geography, Geology, Biology, Chemistry – all of these things should be things that the Environmental activist has a working knowledge of and NONE of these things are effectively taught at Naropa University. Naropa University simply lacks laboratories to effectively teach Biology and Chemistry, they offer no programs in Geography or Geology and they do not even possess classes in Mathematics!

Their graduate degree in Environmental Studies is not much better. Take a look at what Naropa University requires for it’s MA in Environmental Leadership:

First year, fall

SUBTOTAL 9

First year, spring

SUBTOTAL 9

First year, summer

SUBTOTAL 3

Second year, fall

SUBTOTAL 9

Second year, spring

SUBTOTAL 9

TOTAL CREDITS 39

So, what did you see? I would like to point out two things, first of which is that “The New Science and It’s Cultural Applications” class that is required in this MA degree. Sounds interesting, but when you read the course description, you will find that they are not talking about science at all.

In a synthesis of the old and new visions in Western science, this course develops understanding of the new material emerging in science regarding the earth as a living system; examines cosmology and Gaian science, as well as key principles of geophysiology; and explores the significant cultural implications and applications. This material provides key tools and perspectives for environmental leaders as well as insights useful for working with organizations and communities. Required for EL MA.

Cosmology? Gaian science? Well, off hand, I know that cosmology is the study of the origins of this planet (hey, I have watched enough episodes of The Atheist Experience to know that much). But Gaian science? Well, the thing is that despite doing a Google search for the phrase, I have absolutely no idea what the hell Gaian science actually is.

Also, the other course that popped out at me was “MAR 500e: Authentic Leadership”. What this indicates to me is that this is a course offered by Naropa’s Marpa Centre for Business and Economics. Kinda like the Shambhala version of the Maharishi University of Management but less developed, less useful and just as cultish. But here’s the course description, just in case you are curious:

MARPA CENTER FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS (MAR)

Naropa University’s Authentic Leadership program is a transformative leadership course that integrates ancient wisdom with effective modern approaches to management. The format encourages deep personal learning in an environment that makes it possible to assimilate ideas and concepts at an accelerated pace. Executive coaching with experienced professionals is a central component. Professionals with a wide variety of interests and experience attend this course along with Naropa students. Required for EL MA. Course fee.

A religious group offering management courses… sounds familiar, doesn’t it? What comes to mind when I hear that phrase are the Maharishi University for Management (read about this man who worked for the faculty saw some seriously crazy shit), the Hubbard College of Administration and World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (learn how this group is really a front to funnel people into the Church of $cientology).

Do yourself a favor and find an Environmental Studies degree that will allow you to be an effective leader in the field, instead of just another unemployed talking head of Shambhala International.

Naropa University Admissions… On Yahoo! Answers

Ah, it’s finals week and because of my intensive academic schedule (have to make up for all of the Naropa credits that did not transfer to my new school and would not have transferred to any other school, after all), I have been unable to finish up this website and keep the updates going that people reading this deserve. I have a lot of interesting updates and new inspiration to share with you, but it’s going to have to wait until finals are over and I can kick my feet up to relax a little.

Today, I saw an interesting update about Naropa in my e-mail inbox, Naropa University Admissions is now actively on Yahoo! Answers, trying to lure people into their scam. I received notification that a question was posted by a RN who wants to study contemplative psychology and, being the wolves that they are, Naropa University jumped at the chance for fresh meat. Here is the question and what Naropa University had to say to try to lure this woman into their scam.

Of course, I was there to tell her how it really was, so I made sure to do so.

I am afraid that I haven’t properly answered the question, whether there is another school like Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado – so I will answer that in another post. Either way, Naropa Admissions is now on Yahoo! Answers and I intend to make sure that they do not use this medium to lure in more people to waste their money on a Naropa degree.

Poetry and Fraud?

In the Harvard Magazine website, there is an article about the Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe in Boulder, Colorado. The review starts out as a gleaming approval of this business but then, it takes a sharp turn towards equating this bookstore with fraud and abuse. Take a read of the article and watch for this paragraph:

To this end, the bookstore hosts two to five events per week—ranging from readings by established poets to open-microphone nights. Such events in 450 square feet may sound like trying to squeeze a sonnet into a haiku, but Buckley and Hunter recently managed to double their space—the vintage clothing store next door closed—and they are fast becoming a community resource, joining Naropa University, home to the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, as part of Boulder’s burgeoning literary scene. “The café community drives the store financially, and the poetry is our reason for gathering,” Buckley says. Indeed, the café has done so well that Buckley and Hunter plan to add an outdoor patio to the store.

The problem with this statement is that the author of this post is equating this bookstore to Naropa University and it’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. I don’t know about you, but I doubt that the owners of the Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe have ordered their followers to forcefully strip a woman and a man against their will. And I don’t recall the Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe being mired in sleaze, pretending to be secular and yet they are truly religious in nature. I think that the Harvard Magazine should write a retraction and apologize to these people for equating them to Naropa University.

The Prairie Dog Question

I neglected to comment on the prairie dog issue simple because, it does not seem like such an interesting story and frankly, it pales in comparison to the lifetime of suffering that Naropa alumni undergo once they graduate and figure out that their degrees are essentially worth less than the paper they are printed on and yet, they are around $40,000 (to say nothing of their parents, if they roped someone into taking out PLUS loans). Well, I was wrong – the prairie dog issue is an important one, when you consider that it is indicative of the true spirit of the administration at Naropa. Especially considering how they are handling it. The Sycamore, the online unofficial student newspaper of Naropa University (yes, the one where I am seen attending the launch party), has reported that the administration at Naropa University has said that they do not want the community’s input on the prairie dog issue. That’s right, they do not want anyone to talk about this issue, just like I am sure that Chogyam Trungpa was uncomfortable with people talking about his sexual assault of Dana Naone and W.S. Merwin. Or how they do not like how people create websites exposing their fraud and abuse. Naropa University is simply not a place where free speech or student input is desired if it goes against what the administration wants.

So, what does the administration of Naropa University plan to do? Well, considering the fact that they are no stranger to shifty dealings, they will most likely go and send their star attorney, Nathan Stone, to try to threaten them to take down their website and send the content and domain names to Naropa University. Then, they will probably gas the prairie dogs at night, when the Nalanda campus is not scheduled to have any classes or student group meetings – shutting down the campus in advance for “meetings”. After all, why would the administration of Naropa University choose to act in a honourable way? Humane traps cost a lot more money than simple extermination.